In the field of natural resource management (NRM), which emerged as a new integration domain in the agricultural sciences, participatory research is conceptually and operationally still in its infancy and a range of activities are labeled ‘participatory research’. The paper aims at shedding some light on this confusion. Based on a review of literature and internet sites, it provides an overview of the CGIAR’s current NRM research practice, analysing the impact orientation, research foci, the pathway/strategy to impact and the role of participatory research. The paper also offers a framework which helps to differentiate approaches to innovation development and to ‘unpack’ the blurred concept of ‘participatory research’. Three prototypical approaches to innovation development and their respective attributes are described and used to interpret current practice.
Kirsten Probst and Jürgen Hagmann, with contributions from Maria Fernandez and Jacqueline A. Ashby